Man found guilty of shooting dead dog walker with AK-47 in ‘rage-motivated mission for respect’

A man was found guilty of killing a dog walker and seriously injuring her boyfriend more than two years ago after a dispute over their dog unloading itself outside the man’s apartment.

A Denver, Colorado jury found Michael Close guilty of two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of attempted first-degree murder and two counts of first-degree assault, following the death of Isabella Thallas, 9News reported.

Close’s sentencing is set for November 4, when he will receive a mandatory life sentence. The 38-year-old pleaded not guilty to insanity following the fatal incident on June 10, 2020.

The shooting took place in the Ballpark District of downtown Denver when an AK-47 was used to shoot Mrs. Thallas, who had just turned 21. The two dozen bullets that came out of an apartment window were also aimed at her boyfriend Darian Simon, according to the local TV station.

Mr Simon was beaten twice, according to… The Denver Post. While he was able to run away before collapsing, Mrs. Thallas was struck in the back and died instantly.

Close’s legal team argued that he was criminally insane at the time of the attack, but the jury found that Close, 38, was aware of his actions when he fired on the couple when they allegedly urged their pet to leave his apartment. defecate.

Ana Thallas, whose daughter was murdered, told reporters that “we waited two and a half years for this day and what happened there just passed…almost as fast as my daughter was slaughtered”.

“Our lives have changed forever,” she says.

Deputy public defender Sonja Prins argued that Close had a nervous breakdown prior to the murder, citing his childhood experiences of trauma and abuse. She also mentioned a number of job losses, a breakup and the pandemic all of which had a negative impact on his mental state in the summer of 2020.

Prosecutors argued that Close was healthy at the time of the shooting. He first yelled at the couple from his window when they told their dog to “go to the potty,” according to… The Denver Post.

He then grabbed an AK-47 he had stolen from a friend who worked as a police sergeant and started firing as he returned to the window.

Close’s ex-girlfriend testified in court that he called her after the shooting and said he “just killed two people”.

He left his house and drove into the mountains with the rifle and pistol. He was apprehended later that same night as he descended Highway 285 in Jefferson County.

Mrs. Thallas’ father, Joshua Thallas, told the press that “there is no justice in this”.

“There are so many losses everywhere. Our family, obviously, lost Bella’s friends, lost the community, even Close’s family lost today because of his poor choices,” added Mr. Thallas, according to The Denver Post.

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